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The Vintage Caper Paperback – Large Print, 7 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Paragon; Large type edition edition (7 Oct. 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1471336492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471336492
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Review

'Mayle peppers the narrative with wry observations, often in the form of his trademark one-liners... a twist at the end sends the characters on an unexpected mission that throws the whole sense of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys, into question - and suggest the possibility of a sequel' New York Times.

'The star of this caper is the vineyard-veined, lavender-scented, sun-showered, garlic-seasoned setting itself: pure Provence' National Geographic Traveler. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Hollywood lawyer Danny Roth is the proud - and sometimes boastful - owner of a fantastic collection of wines, the best vintages from the finest chateaux of Bordeaux. He invites a journalist to write a piece about his treasure trove of a cellar. This is soon followed by the deft execution of a world-class wine heist. Roth is devastated. Enter Sam Levitt, former corporate lawyer, wine connoisseur, and expert on cultivated crime. Called in by Roth's insurance company, now saddled with a multi-million-dollar claim, Sam investigates. His leads take him first to Bordeaux's magnificent vineyards and then to beautiful Provence. Along the way, bien sur, he's joined by elegant and erudite French colleague, Sophie. In their quest to discover the truth, Sam and Sophie must explore many a fine cellar and its contents, and sample numerous culinary delights offered by the bountiful French countryside. Here is a vintage work from a beloved author.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Diacha on 26 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
" The Vintage Caper" is a delightful entertainment turned out with Peter Mayle's customary charm and competence (and some technical guidance from Anthony Barton, Hiberno-French scion of Chateau Leoville Barton), but no more than that.

Sam Levitt is a bon vivant poacher-turned-gamekeeper hired by a gorgeous insurance investigator to track down a massively valuable collection of vintage Bordeaux wines snatched from an obnoxious Hollywood lawyer's trophy cellar. He follows the trail to Marseilles and manages to solve his dilemma of having to recover the wine without landing the thieves - for whom he develops considerable affinity - in too much trouble in a creative way. Naturally, he encounters all sorts of charming French characters en route, at least one of them female, and finds time to partake of fine cuisine and superior wine and to get fitted for custom shirts at Charvet in Paris. Sam, despite being American, sounds in other words just like Peter Mayle.

The plotting is undemanding and the whole thing is infinitely forgettable once read. But if one is in the mood for an easy but reasonably intelligent and cheerful read, "The Vintage Caper" is just the thing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Farmer on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and forced myself to read it slowly to avoid getting to the end.
The characters were likeable and, as always, Peter Mayle's descriptions are spot on. I was there in France! A light read but no less enjoyable for that. As soon as I finished it I ordered his next book.
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Format: Paperback
(I found it unavoidable to do so, so please take on board - Spoiler Alert - this review covers at least the basics of the tale including its ending)

I finished this in a day, and scratched my head after reading the last word. It is bright and breezy all through and a little light; usually I have no problem with either, but this is so light there's bits missing!

The tale concerns the insurance investigation that follows the theft of a wine collection worth well over 2 million dollars US. The trouble is, the investigator, former crook Sam Levitt, simply has it all too easy. After a little trouble finding suspects, he then has a breakthrough, and then, very mystifyingly in my opinion, simply breezes through the tale. Everything he tries whether legal, dodgy or illegal, works. No one pops up to say 'Welcome to my home, Mr Levitt, I've been expecting you'; no terrible bad luck, no terrible mistakes, no supporting cast either killed or maimed - not that I want that as such, but its total absence to any degree (not even a broken leg or a sore head) is simply not good enough.

To make matters worse, there's no actual wrapping up at the end, especially with regard to whether we have one major player, or two or more across continents. Again - simply not good enough.

I have no idea on Mr Mayle's back catalogue, nor his future writing plans. Am I going to find out based upon this book? Nope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hill on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Starts off well. I read the free Kindle sample and thought "I'll have this". But it quickly runs out of steam. The plot is thin and, unlike previous Mayle novels, the characters are not in any way interesting or charming. The ending is hurried and ill-thought out and the twist on the final page really makes no sense at all. I found myself struggling to finish it and have deleted it from my Kindle as I'm sure I won't ever be reading it again. Such a shame as I have really enjoyed Peter Mayle's earlier novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting international wine theft plot set largely in southern France with Peter Mayle's well crafted descriptions of the country & characterisations of its inhabitants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. I. Bartholomew on 11 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I have only read one Peter Mayle
Le prior to this and it did not set off any fireworks. This was a well crafted piece of writing that held one's attention till the very last page. I would thoroughly recommend it ... especially if you enjoy a decent glass of Lafite!
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By MS on 4 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obvious yes, simplistic yes, full of holes in the subterfuge yes, but huge fun! I liked this book for its page turning deliciousness. As other reviewers have written, this doesn't tax the brain but what it does do is put you in the middle of real France and its love to the good life. Fine wines (which if you look on the net you can't afford, at least I can't, unless you're at least a millionaire), sunshine, the ambience of lovely places to eat and drink, the smell of garlic and cheese; it has it all. You could be there, and if you're like me, would love to be. I read it in a few hours and have ordered the Marseille Caper which I believe is the follow up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jag1808 on 5 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece but as I progressed I was hoping there would be a sting in the tale as it all seemed so obvious otherwise - there wasn't; thankfully it only cost £2.
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